When Oncologist, surgeon, and expert in Ayurvedic medicine, Sergio Lais Suárez travelled to Delhi on March 19, he was not prepared to be stranded in India. Due to the cancellation of flights, he could not travel back to his country month-end. He is also the Honorary Consul General of India in Córdoba.
Stuck in a hotel in New Delhi, he met several other travellers from his country who were in a similar situation and they were all very anxious. The doctor in his encouraged him to start a health check-up camp for his countrymen and other foreigners who were stranded in New Delhi and needed help.
On how did he get this idea to help, Lais Suárez told Financial Express Online, “In the hotel, where I was doing the quarantine/confinement, I noticed that there were people from Argentina, Mexico, the Netherlands, etc. who asked questions about their health when they found out that I was a doctor. First, I organised a talk for those who were in the hotel on topics related to wellness and health. Several questions and doubts arose from this talk about how to prevent diseases and what controls are needed, etc.”
Then, he designed the Medical Control sheet printed a form in English and Spanish and from April 4 he started helping the foreign passengers and also for the employees of the hotel of Indian nationality.
“I created a protocol for medical control of coronavirus: every day along with a team, we check their temperature, oxygen saturation, listen to their lungs and hearts, check their throats and take their pressure,” he says.
That data is entered into a form that is in English and Spanish and this can also be used for issuing the medial certificate when the air travel opens.
“This helps in controlling and monitoring the health status of everyone and act preventively or curatively according to the evolution of the person. It also allows showing the health status in the event of an inspection by the Government of India,” shares the doctor.
“What is most common among those stranded is the nostalgia for their family, anxiety about going home, insomnia, concern about the immediate future work and how they are going to pay their bills, there are several typical imbalances of the confinement and a few they also have pre-existing diseases, “says the doctor.
He might have started this alone but soon realized in order to move from hotel to hotel without violating the quarantine, it was key to have the logistical support of the Argentine Embassy in India so he called the Argentina Ambassador Daniel Chuburu, in India.
Through a WhatsApp, the Argentine Embassy in India created a general group for all Argentines stranded in that country, and then some individuals per city. Lais Suárez, the Honorary Consul General of India in Córdoba, now has a brilliant team. The team members help Argentines to fill in the data on the files, they disinfect medical tools such as stethoscopes, thermometers and pulse oximeters, and they give a hand to help disposable materials are available (gloves, caps, aprons, shoe covers, etc.).
A highly motivated team willing to help each one of the stranded has Natalia Cardielo, a Cordovan social worker, joined in to analyze the socio-environmental part of each person. In Villa María (Córdoba), Natalia runs Sarasvati Casa de Yoga, a space dedicated to spreading the culture of India. Up to now, they have helped more than 50 peoples in 5 hotels. In the majority of the cases, we do the Medical Control on a daily basis.
What is more, now care is also spreading to other cities.
A few days ago, Lais Suárez learned that there were also other Argentines in different cities in India, so he planned to expand the operation even further. He also received requests from the Embassy of Chile in New Delhi to check on those who are stuck in the city and Rishikesh.
“I am now going to be travelling to Rishikesh to check on my people and other nationals who are stranded,” he adds.